More details of new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV emerge

  • Volkswagen's next ID electric car previewed 
  • Called the ID.4, it's an SUV version of the ID.3
  • Set to be built in three locations

2020 Volkswagen ID.4 front view

Following on from the ID.3 that was revealed late in 2019, the Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover has almost made its debut in the wake of the cancelled 2020 Geneva motor show. 

The reason it hasn't quite made its full debut is that, following many spy shots of the car undergoing testing in recent months, it still has some swirly paint to try and hide a few details. Unfortunately for Volkswagen, there isn't much more to hide anymore, so this is a pretty good look at what the 4 will look like. 

It's the second model in Volkswagen’s new ID range of electric cars, taking the body of a crossover SUV based on the firm’s electric MEB platform (all the mechanical components underneath the body). That should ensure it's bound for success, such is the popularity of SUVs in general, and the rapidly growing interest in electric cars among buyers. 

We’ve seen spy shots of the ID.4 testing in the Arctic already, disguised rather convincingly as a Vauxhall Grandland X. We can see why VW chose that car, as there are certain design elements seen through the swirly paint that make the two appear quite similar – mainly around the C-pillar and large black bumper at the back of the car. Other than that though, it’s more an evolution of the smaller ID.3, so there’s a definite family identity.

What else do we know about the ID.4?

Up front there’s a familiar look to the ID.3 with slim lights that sweep into a light bar across a small grille, but does look a little less futuristic than the company’s debut car. The ID.4 looks more like a traditional SUV – probably a smart move that could ensure a lot of buyers are tempted by it when it does arrive.

It’s due to launch later this year with rear-wheel drive, with an all-wheel drive version joining the range later on. Inside, full digital displays are expected (but we haven’t seen inside yet) with what VW describes as “intuitive voice control” and touch surfaces to operate it all. Don't be surprised if it has a similar look and feel to the Skoda Enyaq when that arrives - the two are closely related in terms of mechanical components under the body, and technology used. 

The ID.4 takes inspiration from the ID Crozz concept car from a couple of years ago, so we can expect a selection of battery options delivering range of up to around 311 miles on a charge, with the ability to charge from 0-80% capacity in around 30 minutes via a rapid charger. It’s also expected a top-spec model with the most powerful battery pack could deliver up to 305hp. It's similar to the ID.3 in this regard, as well as rival electric cars like the Tesla Model 3, offering entry-level, longer-range and more performance-focused derivatives. 

What this means for you

Well, that's easy - if you're looking for a small SUV and you want it to be an electric car, then we'd heartily recommend waiting for this one. Rivals are few and far between, and although the good-value MG ZS EV is an alternative, it's considerably cheaper, but the range is more limited.

The nearest rival to it would be the upcoming Peugeot e-2008, but that still won't have the ID.4's anticipated range or will it be, dare we say it, anywhere near as cool. If Volkswagen delivers its promises, this one could well be unbeatable

2020 Volkswagen ID.4 rear view

Further reading

>> Everything you need to know about the Volkswagen ID.3

>> Best electric cars to buy now

>> Full selection of electric car reviews